Moving Pieces

“That’s chess!” snapped Ron. “You’ve got to make some sacrifices!”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

I have vague childhood memories of watching a movie with my parents where the Greek gods manipulated the lives of people below like chess pieces.

My memories may be faulty.

I suppose I could take the time to research the movie if I thought it was really anything more than a writing prompt for this post.

But I’d also run the risk of being entirely wrong about the movie. Then where would this post be?

I don’t believe the Greek gods are controlling our lives like that.

And I also don’t believe that our Heavenly Father is playing chess in the pearly game room.

I tend to believe that God set things in motion but that He doesn’t direct every move.

Or movie if you’ve ever seen anything out of Hollywood.

Not that He couldn’t, and not that He’s not in control. Even with all of the chaos.

Your exegesis may vary.

Neither the movie nor the chess game may be the best examples of what is going on today.

Except to say that there are a lot of moving pieces.

Not unlike a jigsaw puzzle or IKEA furniture.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

I mean, as much as I don’t want to talk about current events, it looks like Atlanta is gearing up to be the next city to burn.

See what happens when you censor movies? Selznick already did that in Gone With the Wind.

Against my better judgment, I made a comment on a Facebook article about the group Lady Antebellum deciding to call themselves Lady A. Apparently, they’ve worked out an agreement with the blues singer who has performed as Lady A for years.

My only point was that I don’t buy the spin that they didn’t make the Civil War connection to the term “Antebellum” some twenty years ago. No, the term is not exclusive to the American Civil War. But, to be from the South and not know what it means?

Oh, honey…bless your hearts.

In other bizarre news, Quaker Oats has announced that they will be discontinuing the brand “Aunt Jemima” because of the historical references to racism and slavery. “Uncle Ben” can’t be far behind.

Look, I don’t know the last time we had either product in our house. For one thing, we don’t eat nearly enough pancakes.

The company can do whatever they want. This is probably the right move.

But, after 131 years, you just made the slavery connections this week?

Closer to home I’m dealing with moving pieces waiting to see when there will be news about the amusement park opening, and working with my theater company to determine when we can actually reopen.

I’ve refreshed my email at least six times whilst writing this post, hoping there would be news.

There was not.

I know that after 47 years of house arrest, we’ve gone from “We can do this,” to “I don’t think I can do this much longer.”

There’s just a lot we still don’t know and that can be stressful.

We’re all there.

We don’t know what move to make next.

That’s why I don’t play chess.

Things you should read:

The woke have no vision of the future
John Gray at UnHerd

The use and abuse of history: Removal of statues means historically rudderless America
The Washington Times

Sing for us, Patsy:

Photo by Carlos Esteves on Unsplash

The Land of What Ifs

Shiprock, New Mexico

“Someday, when in the presence of our Savior, we will thank Him for every burden, every trial, and every heartache.”

American Presbyterian minister, pastor, Bible teacher, theologian, and radio minister, J. Vernon McGee, was born on this day in 1904. (Died December 1, 1988)

Jesus said there’d be days like this.

Forty years ago, I was in Phoenix working at Southwest Indian School and about to embark upon three weeks working teaching Vacation Bible School on the Navajo Indian Reservation.

If you had asked me at that point, I would have been returning not long after for a long-term placement with World Gospel Mission.

That was the plan.

That was also when I did not take the proverbial left turn in Albuquerque.

But I don’t live in The Land of Enchantment (that would be New Mexico).

And there’s no use trying to live in the Land of What Ifs.

At the risk of falling back into the quagmire of public commentary, none of us can go back and fix the past.

Truth is, we can’t really fix the present. At least not what’s swirling around us.

What we can do is control how we’re reacting.

Life isn’t easy for any of us. Certainly, some have better circumstances than others.

But we all struggle.

People of faith understand that we struggle because this world is not our home.

Maybe our 47 years of house arrest are a good time to remember that.

Right now, it’s hard to have hope, it’s hard to imagine if things will ever calm down and get back to normal.

Maybe they won’t. Maybe they shouldn’t.

Either way, we have to decide how we’re going to respond.

It’s no use sitting around wondering what would have happened if things had turned out differently, if we’d made different choices.

While I’ve never been one to really think about being “homesick for heaven” I’m glad to know that there’s a real Land of Enchantment waiting for us.

Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing New Mexico again.

Photo by marc phillips on Unsplash

Things you should read:

The American Press Is Destroying Itself
Matt Taibbi

When mob rule becomes the norm
Cal Thomas in The Washington Times

If you really want justice, consider helping to end modern day slavery.
International Justice Mission

And while you’re worrying about statues.
3 Indian soldiers killed in clash at Chinese border, army says
FOX News

Sing for us Reba.